Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 18

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 18

The First Method

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 18 was pretty slow for the first half. But, the second half of the episode was very good. Still, there’s some important stuff for us to go over from the first half. Primarily, there’s Thorfinn’s speech about “the first method.”

Basically, Thorfinn’s point here is that violence should be the last resort. And not only that, but the first thing you should do when there’s a conflict is attempt to appease everyone. If you can come up with a solution that both parties are happy with, that’s ideal.

Of course, he knows that it’s unrealistic to expect to achieve that in every situation. But, that’s where you should begin. After all, if you can achieve this perfect solution in even a handful of cases, that makes it worthwhile. And the reason Thorfinn is thinking about this is due to how the situation with Gardar ended.

Thorfinn tied up at the fortress from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 18
Thorfinn tied up at the fortress

Thorfinn wanted to save Gardar from Snake. And that’s the mindset he had when he confronted Snake. But, he now sees that was a potential mistake. During the confrontation, he never considered Snake’s side. Snake felt that he needed to avenge his men.

If Thorfinn had considered that from the start, things may have worked out for everyone. As he says to Einar, he likes Snake and believes Snake is a just man. That implies Thorfinn believes he may have been able to reason with Snake if he tried harder.

The thing is, I don’t see how Thorfinn could have pulled that off in this situation. Unless Gardar escaped, he was going to die. If not by Snake’s hand, then by the hand of a member of the family he killed and fled from. And Snake wasn’t going to let Gardar escape without punishment.

In the Market for Some Slaves

Season 2 Episode 18 is the episode in which we get the emotional reunification of Thorfinn and Leif. Or, at least, that’s what I expected it would be. It’s true that Thorfinn and Leif are finally together again. But, their meeting happened off-screen.

I’m really not sure why this was done. Shouldn’t this have been a bigger deal? Leif has been looking for Thorfinn for years — over a decade. And, yet, we didn’t get to see their first interaction after all that time.

In fact, we didn’t get to see Thorfinn and Leif interact at all in this episode. The only time we saw the two of them together was when they went to visit Arnheid. They were standing together in the background as Einar cried at Arnheid’s bedside. That’s it.

Leif Erikson offering to buy Einar and Arnheid from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 18
Leif Erikson offering to buy Einar and Arnheid

Did Thorfinn and Leif discuss going to Vinland together to start a new life? Or, was everyone too preoccupied with what happened to Arnheid? And was their meeting emotional? I’d imagine so. But, maybe after all this time, they greeted each other like 10 years haven’t passed. Either way, I wanted to see it.

Something we did see, and that I didn’t expect, was Leif offering to buy Einar and Arnheid. Ketil already promised Leif could take Thorfinn for free. But, Leif also wanted to take Einar and Arnheid because they’re Thorfinn’s friends. He likely would have asked for Einar anyway. However, I don’t know about Arnheid if Pater hadn’t stepped in.

As we know, Ketil refused to sell Arnheid to Leif. Though, he did say Leif could take Einar, presumably for free. And that makes sense. Einar was going to be a free man anyway. Remember, Ketil promised to free Einar when he returned from his trip.

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Preparing for Battle

Since Einar was going to be free, does it really matter that Leif didn’t want to leave him behind? Yes. Leif knows it’s only a matter of time before Canute’s forces make it to Ketil’s farm. So, if he doesn’t get Thorfinn, Einar, and Arnheid out now, they may die.

It’s for that reason that I believe they’re going to smuggle Arnheid out. And, I’m predicting Snake is going to help them do it. This is the perfect opportunity for Thorfinn to put his “first method” to the test.

It shouldn’t be all that difficult for him to convince Snake to let them take Arnheid and flee. Snake already got his revenge by killing Gardar. He also knows the horrors of war. And, as we’ve already established, he’s interested in Christianity. Thorfinn can use all three of these things to convince him.

Ketil's reflection in the blade of his sword from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 18
Ketil’s reflection in the blade of his sword

At the end of the episode, after beating Arnheid, Ketil loses it completely. He’s now determined to make a stand against Canute’s forces — which include the Jomsvikings. Sure, he has Thorgil and Snake on his side. But, I can’t see this ending well for Ketil.

I hope Olmar makes it out alive. But, I have a feeling he’s not going to. Olmar dying in the coming battle would make the conclusion of Ketil’s arc more impactful. His decision not to submit to the King will have led to the deaths of his entire family.

Also, I wonder if Thorfinn and the gang will get out before Canute arrives. If not, could we see Thorfinn attempt (and fail) to stop the battle? Remember, Thorfinn and Canute actually know each other. But, even if Canute is willing to listen to Thorfinn, Ketil seems to have already made up his mind.


What do you think of Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 18? How long do you think it will be until Thorfinn’s “first method” succeeds? Will it be next week? Do you think Leif will successfully smuggle Arnhied out? And, will Olmar survive the battle of Ketil’s farm? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of Episode 19 is available now.

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2 Replies to “Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 18”

  1. Thematically, I expect Thorfinn to have a victory here. Maybe it won’t be because he defeats Thorkell in a duel, leading to the whole invasion being called off, but I feel Thorfinn will get some sort of victory here for plot reasons and to advance his ideals. I don’t think that Thorfinn will really hightail it out of there as that’s not the type of person he is. Even if Leif wants to leave, I expect Thorfinn to want to stay.

    1. Good point about Thorfinn not being the kind of person to want to run away. But, at the same time, I could also see him prioritize getting Arnheid to safety.

      Also, while Thorfinn might have a small victory here, I’m predicting it will be a failure as a whole. I don’t think he’s going to be able to save the farm. Ketil and Thorgil will likely die. Olmar might die. And I have a feeling Snake is going to die. And Thorfinn’s going to blame himself for not being able to stop the bloodshed.

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